Dhaman-III, the ventilator manufactured by Rajkot-based firm Jyoti CNC Automation Limited has been approved by the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) for clinical use, according to the manufacturers, who said on Friday that they will start delivering the equipment to the central government from next week.
The clinical testing of Dhaman-III ventilator by the DGHS, the agency functioning under the aegis of Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), was successful, according to the manufacturer Jyoti CNC Automation Limited.
Addressing a press conference at the company’s manufacturing facility in Metoda GIDC on the outskirts of Rajkot, Parakram Jadeja, chief operating officer (CEO) of Jyoti CNC, shared with the media a letter purportedly written by under secretary in the MoHFW to chairman and managing director of Hindustan Latex Limited (HLL) Lifecare Limited, a central government public sector undertaking (PSU), on Tuesday conveying the successful testing.
“I am directed to say that based on clinical trial report of ventilator model Dhaman-III received from Dr RML Hospital, New Delhi, and Gujarat Cancer Research Society Medical College, Ahmedabad, DGHS has approved the clinical use of Dhaman III model ventilator by M/s Jyoti CNC Automation Limited. HLL is requested to take necessary action accordingly,” reads the letter.
The central government has assigned HLL Lifecare the task of procuring 58,850 ventilators at the cost of Rs 2,332 crore in view of the Covid-19 pandemic. Jyoti CNC has won a bid to supply 5,000 ventilators at the cost of Rs 121 crore and has already received Rs 8 crore advance payment.
Jadeja said that clinical tests began on July 17 and concluded in the first week of August. “We had given five machines for testing. We don’t know on how many patients they were tested,” he told The Indian Express.
“We will start supplying Dhaman-III in a week. Our target is to deliver all the 5,000 units in two to two-and-half months,” he added.
The CEO said that Dhaman-III was an upgraded version of Dhaman–I with enhanced features, including pressure control and volume control. It is wi-fi enabled and thus can be controlled remotely also, said Jadeja, terming Dhaman-III an “ICU ventilator”. Dhaman-I was launched by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on April 5.
Jyoti CNC’s announcement comes around a week after sections of media reported that Dhaman-III was missing from the list of ventilators being procured by the central government. The reports cited a July 20 reply by the central government to an application filed under the Right to Information Act.
The Jyoti CNC CEO, however, termed the reports an attempt to malign the new product. “Dhaman was not on the list (on July 20) as clinical testing was going on… But certain friends decided to stamp Dhaman a failure as it had come somewhere from Gujarat. I don’t know why we want to put a ‘failure’ stamp on our Indian products,” Jadeja said.
He alleged that importers of medical equipment were behind the campaign to portray Dhaman a failure. “Their business would be affected if these Made in India machines are proved successful,” he added.
Pointing out that no doctor had said Dhaman was not helpful, Jadeja said, “Politicians and media reported it as failure… we have gifted 862 Dhaman-I to Gujarat government and they are being used as a basic ventilator. There are 1,200 Dhaman-I in use across the country,” said Jadeja adding Dhaman-III has also got 60,601 certification from International Electrotechnical Commission.
The CEO, however, ducked query over share-holding pattern in Jyoti CNC, with reported stake of Virani family, who had gifted a monogrammed suit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi a few years ago, and is perceived to be closed to the PM. “Is it necessary to declare it? Lots of developments are taking place,” Jadeja said.
When asked about allegations of favouritism in Jyoti CNC getting the contract, Jadeja said, “Is it possible in case of Modi saheb or any other Prime Minister for that matter? Secondly, the lowest order is ours. It is for 5,000 units. Whoever came forward with an offer to manufacture have got orders.”
Jyoti CNC’s supply contract for 5,000 units was the fourth largest among seven vendors when the orders were placed in May this year.
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